Buenos Aires, Cities Within a City

After several nights of mucho bife de chorizo - the equivalent to a New York Strip, bottles of malbec and countless picadas - antipasto platters, I am feeling like the ultimate carnivore. We have strolled barrios for days, admiring the variety of faces this Italian Spanish hybrid city wears and decided this is a particularly livable city. San Telmo is still my favorite barrio for its treasure box antique shops, old time tango vibe, pensive cafes, and cobblestone streets, even if it is a little dangerous after dark. Palermo (Soho, Viejo, and Hollywood) are where the hip young things like to sip arnet and cokes, look stylishly casual in sneakers and tight jeans and shop at fancy boutiques. I will be heading there tomorrow for my last dose of shopping before heading into the wilderness abyss. La Boca is the most colorful barrio by far with painted houses in every shade, tango music blasting from the store fronts and too many tourists for my taste. Any time I feel like a herd of sheep my intinct is to run ther other direction, as was such in this case as well. Porto Madero is the newest barrio and reminded me a lot of Navy Pier in Chicago. Very high end restaurants on the river and overly manicured park were a little too nouveau for my taste but made for a very pleasant stroll.

I´ve realized that what I love about cities is their history, but I don´t enjoy the ubiquity of certain aspects that make you feel like you could be in any city anywhere. While Buenos Aires can´t be mistaken for anywhere else in certain areas, in others I have felt like I was in Rome, Paris, New York, and Chicago. They say this is the Paris of South America, I would say it is more an amalgam of all cities, in one city, in the last country at the end of the continent and that makes it truly a surprise and a delight. After my European city tour, I am still craving mountains, jungles and the desert. Next stop is wine country in Mendoza as we make our way up the Andes.

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